What estate agents say - and what they really mean

7 October 2014

Estate agent jargon has long been the stuff of ridicule. Who hasn't heard of tiny properties referred to as 'cosy', or a 'conveniently-located' house that happens to be next to a noisy motorway?

But the property people at comparison website GoCompare have asked a panel of 'estate agent insiders' to help compile the definitive list of what estate agents truly mean when they use jargon to influence potential buyers.

Ben Wilson, Gocompare.com's home insurance expert, said: "We wanted to test the commonly-held belief that estate agents get creative in order to rent or sell property and, having had chance to work with industry insiders, we can finally expose the verbal tricks of the trade.

"Of course, this is a tongue-in-cheek look at the issue, but the next time house hunters hear one of these words, they'll be able to translate it into something probably much closer to what the estate agent actually means!"

So here are the results: the 24 things estate agents say – and what they really mean. Can you add any others, below?

1. Bijou – a tiny boxroom.
2. Cash-buyers only – no bank in its right mind would lend on this.
3. Compact – glorified cupboard.
4. Convenient for transport links – feel the walls shake as a train passes.
5. Cosy – no more than one person per room at a time.
6. Close to good schools – can get there in ten minutes, if you drive like Lewis Hamilton.
7. Easily-maintained garden – concrete as far as the eye can see.
8. Full of history – Doesn't have electricity or running water.
9. No onward chain – somebody died in there.
10. No photo available – the stuff of nightmares.
11. Peaceful location – God's waiting room.
12. Perfect for a first time buyer – we know you can't afford to be choosy.
13. Period property – Derelict and possibly haunted.
14. Popular area – you'll be squashed in like sardines.
15. Put your own stamp on it – half-built.
16. Renovation required – watch your money magically disappear.
17. Rural – there is nothing there, except maybe some sheep.
18. Viewing recommended – the outside looks like something Stig of the Dump would reject.
19. Pied-à-terre – fancy French phrase for cosy.
20. Quirky – nothing matches and the doors are 4ft high.
21. Three-bedroomed property – two bedrooms and a cupboard where you could fit a sleeping bag... just.
22. Reduced for a quick sale – there has been no interest.
23. Within walking distance – if you have a spare five hours.
24. Sought-after area – ridiculous price.

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